Credit Card Abuse Exposed

What is the Texas law about Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse?

In Texas, Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse falls under Section 32.31 of the Texas Penal Code. This offense occurs when an individual knowingly attempts to fraudulently gain a benefit by using a credit or debit card that was not issued to them, without the cardholder鈥檚 consent, or when the card is expired, canceled, or revoked. It is also considered an offense to acquire, possess, or transfer a credit or debit card with the knowledge that it has been unlawfully obtained, such as purchasing a stolen credit card.

If the person has the intent to gain a benefit fraudulently by using a fake card or a pretended number. Or if they use or induce the cardholder to use the cardholder鈥檚 credit card to get property or service for the individual to benefit, for which the cardholder is financially unable to pay.

Understanding State Jail Felony Penalties in Texas

The law distinguishes between different categories of offenses based on the value obtained and the number or type of victims involved. The punishment for the crime considered a state jail felony is confinement in a state jail for less than two years and not less than 180 days. In addition to confinement, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Committing the crime against an elderly individual and proving it in court can escalate it to a third-degree felony. The punishment is then imprisonment in an institution for not more than ten years or fewer than two years. In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000.

It鈥檚 important to note that the specific penalties and offense levels may vary based on factors such as prior convictions or aggravating circumstances. Furthermore, laws may change or receive updates, so it鈥檚 advisable to consult the latest version of the Texas Penal Code or seek legal counsel for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Types Of Credit/Debit Card Abuse

Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse can take various forms, involving different types of fraudulent or unauthorized activities.

Criminals use devices called skimmers to steal credit or debit card information by attaching them to legitimate card readers, such as ATMs or gas pumps. These devices capture the card鈥檚 data, including the card number and PIN, enabling fraudulent transactions.

Criminals obtain card information through various means, such as hacking databases or intercepting card data during transactions. They then create counterfeit cards with stolen information and use them for unauthorized purchases.

It can also entail using stolen credit or debit cards. The thief may use the stolen card for purchases or cash withdrawals before the cardholder realizes the card is missing.

Fraudsters engage in various online schemes to obtain credit card information, such as phishing, where they trick individuals into providing their card details through fraudulent websites or emails. They may also engage in card-not-present transactions using stolen card information.

In cases of identity theft, criminals use stolen personal information, including credit card details, to impersonate the cardholder and make unauthorized transactions.

Criminals create counterfeit credit or debit cards using stolen card information. These fake cards are then used to make purchases or withdraw cash.

This type of credit/debit card abuse occurs when individuals who have access to card information, such as employees at businesses or financial institutions, use the data for fraudulent purposes.

It鈥檚 important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect your credit and debit card information, such as regularly monitoring your account activity, using secure online payment methods, and reporting any suspicious transactions to your card issuer or the appropriate authorities.

How To Prevent Credit Card Abuse

To help prevent credit card abuse and protect yourself from fraud, here are some preventive measures you can take, such as safeguarding your cards. By keeping your credit and debit cards in a safe place and never leaving them unattended, you can protect them. If your card is lost or stolen, report it to your card issuer immediately.

Always be cautious when sharing your credit card information. Only provide it to trusted and secure websites or merchants. Avoid sharing sensitive card details over unsecured networks or suspicious platforms.

It is a great habit to review your credit card and your bank statements to ensure that all your charges and transactions are legitimate. By making this a habit, you are more likely to catch suspicious charges. If you notice any unauthorized or suspicious activity, report it to your card issuer right away.

When making online purchases, use secure payment methods such as trusted third-party platforms or secure payment gateways. Look for indicators like HTTPS and padlock symbols in the browser address bar to ensure a secure connection. Although not guaranteed to stop all hacking, it does help prevent it.

Protect Yourself from Phishing Scams: Tips to Stay Safe Online

Be wary of phishing attempts via email, text messages, or phone calls. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or providing personal information in response to unsolicited requests. Legitimate organizations will never ask for your full card details or sensitive information via email. Spam mail is a common phishing attempt that tends to target older adults and people that are not well-versed in technology.

Utilizing a two-factor authentication whenever possible helps add protection to bank accounts and online banking. This added an extra layer of security by requiring an additional verification step, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device, to access your account.

It is important to maintain up-to-date contact information with your card issuer so they can reach you in case of suspicious activity or fraud alerts. The faster banks can alert you of suspicious activity, the faster you can stop additional fraudulent charges.

When you are creating strong, unique passwords for your online accounts, including your card issuer鈥檚 website. Avoid using easily guessable passwords or repeating them across multiple platforms. Using numbers, symbols and even capitalizing on random letters can help strengthen your password protection.

Regularly check your credit reports for any suspicious or unauthorized accounts. You can obtain free credit reports from each of the major credit bureaus annually.

Dispose of documents containing sensitive information, such as credit card statements or receipts, by shredding them to prevent dumpster diving or identity theft.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of credit card abuse and protect your financial information. Additionally, stay informed about the latest security practices and fraud trends to stay ahead of potential threats.

What Do You Do If Your Card Is Stolen Fraudulently

If your credit or debit card is stolen and used fraudulently, it鈥檚 important to take immediate action to minimize any potential financial loss and protect your accounts. Here are the steps you should follow:

Call your card issuer鈥檚 customer service number immediately. Report the theft and inform them about the fraudulent activity on your card. They will guide you through the necessary steps to address the situation.

Ask your card issuer to freeze or cancel your stolen card to prevent further unauthorized transactions. They will issue you a new card with a new account number.

Inform your card issuer about the specific fraudulent transactions that appear on your statement. They will guide you through the process of disputing these charges and work to remove them from your account.

If you had online accounts associated with your stolen card, such as for shopping websites or payment platforms, change the passwords for those accounts. This helps protect your personal information and prevents unauthorized access.

Monitor Your Financial Accounts: Tips to Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft

Keep a close eye on your other financial accounts for any suspicious activity. Regularly review your bank statements and credit reports to ensure no additional unauthorized accounts or charges have been opened in your name.

Contact your local law enforcement agency and file a police report about the stolen card. Provide them with all relevant details and any evidence you may have. The police report can serve as documentation of the crime.

Report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and make sure to file a complaint with the FTC through their website or by phone. This helps them track fraud patterns and provides you with additional support and resources. And it helps them track down the criminals that commit the crime.

If you had any automatic payments or billing arrangements set up with your stolen card, update them with the new card information or provide alternative payment methods to ensure uninterrupted services.

Remember, the specific procedures may vary depending on your card issuer and the circumstances surrounding the theft. It鈥檚 crucial to act quickly and communicate with your card issuer to protect yourself from financial losses and mitigate the impact of fraud.

Need Help? Call Us Now!

Do not forget that when you or anyone you know is facing a criminal charge, you have us, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, by your side to help you build the best defense case for you. We are committed to working in your best interest and securing the most favorable outcome for you. Our goal is to provide comprehensive guidance on your trial and the most effective defense strategies. You can rely on us to assist you step by step through the criminal process.

Therefore, do not hesitate to call us if you find yourself or someone you know that is facing criminal charges unsure about the court system. We will work with you to give you the best type of defense that can help you solve your case. It is vital to have someone explain the result of the charge to you and guide you in the best possible way.

Here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we have professional and knowledgeable criminal law attorneys who are experienced in building a defense case for you that suits your needs for the best possible outcome that can benefit you.

Also, here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, you are given a free consultation at your convenience. You may choose to have your appointment via Zoom, google meet, email, or an in-person appointment; and we will provide you with as much advice and information as possible so you can have the best possible result in your case.

Call us now at (281) 810-9760.


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